Social Dance

If we were to visit school dances at a prestigious private school and a working class high school, we might find some of the same basic playlists. Teenagers all have access to – and follow – each new generation of artists. Being current trumps many other forces in the effort to be “cool.”

As adults, the occasions to dance are less frequent, and may be more reflective of class differences. For example, many in the more privileged classes are practiced in the basics of ballroom-style dancing. Weddings, in particular, come with an expectation to participate. People know the protocol and choreography of navigating politely through the crowd. It can be a joyful way to celebrate as a community.

Playlists at working-class (adult) dances or events are less formal and more likely to include songs shared in high-school years. For better or worse, the individual “moves” from those high school years are more likely to be on full display. Dancing can be a way to recapture some fun experiences of the past.

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